The Longest Gap between a Film and it’s Sequel

Was the almost half a century that elapsed between the release of Peter Pan in 1953 and it’s sequel Return to Never Land in 2002.


Peter Pan protagonist Wendy Darling has grown into a woman with her own headstrong daughter, Jane. But when Captain Hook mistakes Jane for Wendy and carries her off to Never Land, eternal child Peter Pan reunites with the family.

Why did it take so long?
For decades, Disney avoided making any sequels to its beloved animated films. But the success of the Aladdin sequel The Return of Jafar opened the floodgates for a wide range of cheap, poorly conceived cash-ins. Most, like Cinderella II: Dreams Come True and Bambi II, went direct-to-video, but Disney inexplicably deemed Return to Never Land worthy of a theatrical release. They shouldn’t have, but it does give them the dubious honor of the longest gap ever between a film and its sequel.

The sequel has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 45% relative to the original’s 75%. Some of the reviews of it include:

  • A film lacking the wit, enchantment, and spark of the original — despite being a shameless copy of it.
  • Has an unappealing main character drifting through a dramatically inert script.
  • The first fifteen minutes are so unremittingly dreary that it plays like Disney for depressive kids. Pass the kiddies’ Prozac, I say

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